When buying an iPhone, you can take a few different routes. You can buy it through a carrier with a contract, you can buy it outright from Apple, or you can buy it used from another source. One option you might not be as familiar with is buying an unlocked iPhone. So, what exactly is an unlocked iPhone? And what are the benefits and risks that come along with it?
An unlocked iPhone is a phone that is not tied to a specific carrier. You can use it with any carrier that uses a SIM card. To put it simply, an unlocked iPhone gives you the freedom to choose your own carrier rather than being locked into a contract with one carrier.
There are a few different ways to buy an unlocked iPhone. The first is to buy it directly from Apple. The second is to buy it from a carrier but without a contract. And the third is to buy it used from another source.
Benefits of Unlocked iPhone
The benefits of an unlocked iPhone are numerous. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that you are not locked into a contract with a carrier. This means that you can switch carriers at any time without having to pay any early termination fees. It also means that you can use your phone while travelling abroad. Simply pop in a local SIM card, and you can use your phone just like you would at home.
Another benefit of an unlocked iPhone is that you will have access to the latest software updates as soon as they are released. With a carrier-locked iPhone, you would have to wait for your carrier to approve the update and push it out to you, which can sometimes take weeks or even months.
The final benefit of an unlocked iPhone is that it will likely increase in value over time. A carrier-locked iPhone is only worth what the carrier is willing to pay for it when you decide to upgrade. An unlocked iPhone, on the other hand, can be sold to anyone for whatever price the market dictates.
Risks of Buying an Unlocked iPhone
Of course, there are also a few risks that come along with buying an unlocked iPhone. The first risk is that you might not be able to use certain features that are specific to a particular carrier. For example, if you buy an unlocked iPhone from AT&T, you will not be able to use features like Visual Voicemail.
Another risk is that you might not be able to get support from your carrier if you have problems with your phone. If you buy an unlocked iPhone from a carrier, they are obligated to provide you with support. However, if you buy an unlocked iPhone from another source, they might not be as willing to help you if you run into problems.
Finally, there is always the risk that your phone could be lost or stolen. If you lose your phone or it is stolen, you will likely be out of luck if it is locked to a carrier. However, if your phone is unlocked, you can simply buy a new SIM card and be up and running again in no time.
Overall, the benefits of buying an unlocked iPhone far outweigh the risks. If you want the freedom to choose your own carrier and use your phone while travelling abroad, then buying an unlocked iPhone is definitely the way to go.